International Keynote Speakers
This years AGDC will feature international guest speakers behind some of the world’s most popular titles including: World of Warcraft, Halo 2, Half-Life 2, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Night of the Old Republic and Baldur’s Gate.
Ian Livingstone is the Creative Director at Eidos and a leading pioneer of interactive entertainment. In 1975 he founded Games Workshop Ltd with Steve Jackson and launched Dungeons & Dragons in Europe and the Games Workshop retail chain. In 1977 he launched White Dwarf, the UK’s first interactive games magazine, and was its editor for 5 years. In 1982, again with Steve Jackson, he wrote the first in the series of Fighting Fantasy interactive gamebooks that sold over 15 million copies in 23 languages, including his own best-selling Deathtrap Dungeon. He has written more than 20 books and has also invented many board games. In 1992 he became Deputy Chairman of computer games company Domark. In 1995 he was instrumental in the merger and flotation of Domark with technology company Eidos and served as Executive Chairman of the Board of the new interactive entity Eidos plc until 2002. At Eidos - one of the UK's leading developers and publishers of video games - he has helped to secure many of the company's major franchises including Tomb Raider, Championship Manager and Hitman. In 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Technology by the University of Abertay Dundee. In 2002 he was awarded the BAFTA Special Award for his outstanding contribution to the interactive entertainment industry. In 2003 he was appointed Creative Industries advisor to the British Council. In 2004 he was made a Creative Industries Luminary for London. In 2004 he was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Bright Things plc. In 2005 he was appointed Chair of the Computer Games Skills Forum.
Dr. Ray Muzyka is the Joint CEO and Co-Executive Producer at BioWare Corp. He co-founded BioWare in 1995 with the other Joint CEO at BioWare, Dr. Greg Zeschuk. Ray and Greg were the Co-Executive Producers on Baldur’s Gate, Shattered Steel, MDK2, MDK2: Armageddon, Baldur’s Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide, Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox and PC) and the recently-released Jade Empire, BioWare’s first original intellectual property (Jade Empire is a martial arts action-RPG published by Microsoft on Xbox in April 2005). Ray and Greg are also Co-Executive Producers on Dragon Age, an epic fantasy roleplaying game for PC set in a new BioWare-created universe, and another, as-yet unannounced project based on another original BioWare intellectual property. BioWare’s Technology Architecture Group also is hard at work developing cutting edge next generation technology (the BioWare Eclipse Engine) for multiple platforms, and BioWare’s Live Team is developing projects for release to the BioWare Community (as of May 2005 over 2.5 million users have registered with BioWare at www.bioware.com).
In addition to his development role, Ray also co-manages the financial, human resources, operations, marketing and legal business side of BioWare, and has completed his executive MBA program at the Ivey School of Business, UWO. Ray is also a board member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, Co-Chairman of the Business Committee of the International Game Developers’ Association, and also serves as a Director and Co-Chairman of CodeBaby Corp., another software company developing a next generation interface for digital media and the Internet (www.codebaby.com).
As Blizzard Entertainment®, Inc.’s vice president of game design, Rob Pardo oversees the design of all Blizzard games. He served as lead designer for both Warcraft® III: Reign of Chaos® and World of Warcraft®, helping to turn both games into revolutionary genre-busting titles. Leading a talented and highly experienced development team, Rob oversaw the design and implementation of all aspects of gameplay for World of Warcraft, the company’s latest critically acclaimed blockbuster game and the world’s most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game in history.
Rob continues to provide direction and oversight for ongoing development of World of Warcraft since its launch, in addition to providing overall design for Blizzard’s other projects.
Rob has been contributing to the success of Blizzard’s games since 1997, when he joined the company as a designer and strike-team member on StarCraft®. When the company decided to create an expansion set for StarCraft, Rob was named Lead Designer on that project. With his direction on game design, StarCraft: Brood War® went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed add-on products ever created. Following the worldwide success of StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War, Rob went on to oversee the design of another Blizzard best-seller, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, as well as its expansion set, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne®. From there, Rob moved into his current position as vice president of game design at Blizzard, supervising the overall game design of World of Warcraft and the company’s upcoming console title set in the StarCraft universe, StarCraft: Ghost™.
Before joining Blizzard, Rob spent a year at Point of View, Inc., a small development company in Covina, CA, where he worked on Mortal Kombat® (PC and Saturn) and Golden Nugget® (PlayStation). He also spent two years at Interplay Productions in Irvine, CA, where he worked on many titles, including Whiplash® (PC) and Tempest X® (PlayStation).
Pardo earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law, and Society from UC Irvine in 1996.